The Best Day of the Week to Work Out
Who you are:On Monday, you're ready to start your diet, give up your worst habit and generally treat the first day of the week like it's the first day of the year...again. And you’re certainly not alone. More people start exercise regimes on Mondays than on any other day of the week, research shows, and a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that health-related Google queries are highest on Monday and Tuesday—suggesting that on this particular day, people are most motivated to take control of their health.
The best workout to start your week: Something that you've always really wanted to try, like a 10K training plan, stand-up paddleboarding, indoor rock-climbing.
Why: You're most likely to not only set goals but also actually try to reach them. Fitness pros who work with clients day in and day out confirm what the research has found. "People tend to look at Mondays like a fresh start," and they're more likely to show up for an appointment with a trainer and be willing to try something a little challenging, says Diane Vives, a spokesperson for the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the owner of Vives Training Systems and Fit4Austin. As the week rolls on, many people get busy or worn-out, she says, and that can lead them to abandon their goals.
Who you are on Monday:Bloated and a little sheepish from a weekend of indulging.
The best workout to start your week: A high-intensity interval workout, maybe with a trainer or a small group class.
Why: Metabolic circuits, which combine both strength and cardio moves into one workout, are some of the most efficient ways to burn calories and fat, research shows. And they don't stop when you do: These types of high-intensity muscle-building exercises help your body continue to burn calories even after your workout, says Michelle Dozois, a certified fitness instructor for FitnessGlo. She recommends total-body moves like squats to overhead press, planking toe taps and, of course, squat thrusts. Dozois adds another plug for Mondays: You can take a rest day off after each workout day and still squeeze in three days of exercise for the week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday).
Who you are on Monday:Eager for some time to yourself after a weekend of family and friend togetherness.
The best workout to start your week: A vinyasa yoga class with a rhythmic flow, during which you can reconnect with your body, mentally prepare for the week ahead and get into your own groove.
Why: You won't find solitude at the gym. Monday is the busiest day at health clubs, industry experts reveal, so it's going to be packed and loud, and you'll be less likely to find a space to stretch, never mind a free treadmill. On the other hand, many people practiced yoga over the weekend (that's where the moms were while the dads took the kids to the park), or they're saving their Zen treat until later in the week, when they really need it, so the studio should be more your speed (or you can try a private class online).
Who you are on Monday:Itching to beat a personal record (or someone else's) after a weekend of hard-core exercise.
The best workout to start your week: A CrossFit-type class, a track workout or a group bike ride—something that allows you to quantify your results and compare them with those of other type-A workout-aholics.
Why: Mondays are the day people are most likely to track their exercise, according to MyFitnessPal, a free resource for achieving and maintaining health goals that has more than 50 million users. That means you’ll have lots of data to crunch and stats to sift through. So by the end of the day, you'll have a new bar to aim for...next Monday.
Who you are on Monday:Organized, rested and ready to go.
The best workout to start your week: An early-morning swim session.
Why: Because you prepared for it on Sunday—when you, like most people, took the day off from the gym—by packing a bag, reserving a lane at the Y across town and getting yourself ready to do something that you probably won’t have the time or inclination for once the week gets going. (Admit it: It's been too much of a hassle to even get to the pool on previous Wednesdays and Thursdays, much less grab your swimsuit, bathing cap, goggles, pool shoes and towel.) Bonus: All that advance prep may leave you extra time to dry your hair afterwards.